The Fabric of Civilization – Virginia Postrel

Fabric of civilization – Virginia Postrel

I saw this at my local book shop and had to buy it.

Here’s the blurb…

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, a global history of textiles and the world they made
The story of humanity is the story of textiles — as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture.
In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo’s David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code.
Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world’s most influential commodity.

This book is fabulous – well written and researched. It made me think about string, banking and weaving in a whole new way. There are chapters on Fiber, Thread, Cloth, Dye, Traders, Consumers and Innovators. Each chapter is a deep-dive into its topic.

If you are at all interested in Textile History (or just History for that matter), then this is the book for you. Easy to read, but very informative.

You can also listen to Virginia Postrel on this Haptic and Hue podcast.

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